2009-12-19 The story of flax

The cultivation of flax and its processing might become  tourist attraction of Podlasie. Such is at least the prediction of scientists of Instytut Włókien Naturalnych i Roślin Zielarskich (Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants). This year they have managed to convince 5 farmers from the Podlaskie Voivodeship to undertake experimental farming activities. In 2010 20 more cultivators will sow flax.

The farmers will gain knowledge in the process of technological preparation of fiber that was once used on farms (instruments such as grzebień, międlica, cierlica, flax wheel, loom etc.) and carry out weaving and dyeing workshops. Tourists spending their time in the country will be able to see traditional cultivation of flax, learn how to prepare the yarn, weave and dye using natural methods.

The true story of flax
Flax was sowed into the earth at the end of May, harvested by tearing out whole sprouts and retted on meadows (by spreading  flax on wet grass so as to remove binding substances from the stem).

When the retting was over, the lignified parts were removed and the fibers hatchelled. During the processing a thicker yarn (the so-called "pakuł") was created. It would serve for the production of lesser quality linen and the braiding of ropes.

Pakułas were spun anew so that to make them even thicker. The better quality fibers were used for spinning threads, which were subsequently turned into fabric for elegant clothes, bedclothes and tablecloths.


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